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Project: ORINoCO: Optical Receivers IN standard CmOs

2019-01-01 – 2022-12-31

Abstract

Optical communication is an interesting alternative for communication over a copper wire when
speed, weight and electromagnetic immunity are considered important. If the cost of going optical
instead of staying electrical were not so high, it would probably be used in a lot more applications.
Therefore, in order to make this possible, the goal of this project is to investigate a novel concept of
implementing a full optical receiver in a low cost technology. This will lead to cheaper, smaller and
lower power optical communication systems and, as a result, will lead to optical communication
becoming more in the reach of the consumer market.
The objective of this project is to investigate if and how light can be received by means of an
antenne instead of with a photodiode. Since a photodiode can hardly be implemented efficiently in
a low cost technology, while this is not the case for an antenna, this is a very interesting road
towards low cost optical solutions. Next to the cost issue, it is expected that the research within this
project will result in optical receivers that are at least an order of magnitude more power efficient
than current pure CMOS solutions. Therefore, also the other building blocks of an optical
communication system will be explored and optimised for the novel detector concepts that will be
developed.

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